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Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision

The Intellivision is a video game console released by Mattel in 1979. Development of the console began in 1978, less than a year after the introduction of its main competitor, the Atari 2600. The word intellivision is a portmanteau of "intelligent television". Over 3 million Intellivision units were sold and a total of 125 games were released for the console.

The Intellivision was developed by Mattel Electronics, a subsidiary of Mattel formed expressly for the development of electronic games. The console was test marketed in Fresno, California, in 1979 with a total of four games available, and was released nationwide in 1980 with a price tag of US$299 and a pack-in game: Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack. Though not the first system to challenge Atari, it was the first to pose a serious threat to Atari's dominance. A series of advertisements featuring George Plimpton were produced that demonstrated the superiority of the Intellivision's graphics and sound to those of the Atari 2600, using side-by-side game comparisons.

One of the slogans of the television advertisements stated that Intellivision was "the closest thing to the real thing"; one example in an advertisement compared golf games. The other console's games had a blip sound and cruder graphics, while the Intellivision featured a realistic swing sound and striking of the ball, and graphics that suggested a more 3D look. There was also an advertisement comparing the Atari 2600 to it, featuring the slogan "I didn't know".

Like Atari, Mattel marketed their console to a number of retailers as a rebadged unit. These models include the Radio Shack TandyVision, the GTE-Sylvania Intellivision, and the Sears Super Video Arcade. The Sears model was a specific coup for Mattel, as Sears was already selling a rebadged Atari 2600 unit, and in doing so made a big contribution to Atari's success.

In its first year, Mattel sold 175,000 Intellivision consoles, and the library grew to 35 games. At this time, all Intellivision games were developed by an outside firm, APh Technological Consulting. The company recognized that what had been seen as a secondary product line might be a big business. Realizing that potential profits are much greater with first party software, Mattel formed its own in-house software development group.

The original five members of that Intellivision team were manager Gabriel Baum, Don Daglow, Rick Levine, Mike Minkoff and John Sohl. Levine and Minkoff, a long-time Mattel Toys veteran, both came over from the hand-held Mattel games engineering team. To keep these programmers from being hired away by rival Atari, their identity and work location was kept a closely guarded secret. In public, the programmers were referred to collectively as the Blue Sky Rangers.

By 1982, sales were soaring. Over two million Intellivision consoles had been sold by the end of the year, earning Mattel a $100,000,000 profit[citation needed]. Third-party Atari developers Activision, and Imagic began releasing games for the Intellivision, as did hardware rival Coleco. Mattel created M Network branded games for Atari and Coleco's systems. The most popular titles sold over a million units each. The Intellivision was also introduced in Japan by Bandai in 1982.

The original 5-person Mattel game development team had grown to 110 people under now-Vice President Baum, while Daglow led Intellivision development and top engineer Minkoff directed all work on all other platforms.

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Console Living Room
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21
software
Year
1
2001
2
2000
15
1999
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1981
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21
English
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Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 1,966
favorite 3
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Intellivision: Pong (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 1,829
favorite 0
comment 2
Intellivision: Tetris (2000)(-)(PD)
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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"Song Player" is a demonstration program for the Intellivision, designed and programmed by Joseph Zbiciak. The Song Player cartridges automatically begin playing a three-voice orchestration of popular songs, with no other user interaction. They primarily function to demonstrate sound, and show basic graphics to indicate the notes being played. This cartridge plays the song "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred.
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 259
favorite 0
comment 0
"Song Player" is a demonstration program for the Intellivision, designed and programmed by Joseph Zbiciak. The Song Player cartridges automatically begin playing a three-voice orchestration of popular songs, with no other user interaction. They primarily function to demonstrate sound, and show basic graphics to indicate the notes being played. This cartridge plays the song "Take on Me" by A-Ha.
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 232
favorite 0
comment 0
"Song Player" is a demonstration program for the Intellivision, designed and programmed by Joseph Zbiciak. The Song Player cartridges automatically begin playing a three-voice orchestration of popular songs, with no other user interaction. They primarily function to demonstrate sound, and show basic graphics to indicate the notes being played. This cartridge plays the song "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers.
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 232
favorite 0
comment 0
Intellivision: Crazy Clones (1981)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 230
favorite 0
comment 0
Intellivision: Mickey's Hello World (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 210
favorite 0
comment 0
"Song Player" is a demonstration program for the Intellivision, designed and programmed by Joseph Zbiciak. The Song Player cartridges automatically begin playing a three-voice orchestration of popular songs, with no other user interaction. They primarily function to demonstrate sound, and show basic graphics to indicate the notes being played. This cartridge plays the song "Take on Me" by A-Ha.
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 191
favorite 0
comment 1
4-TRIS (2000)(-)(PD)
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
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Intellivision: Song Player - Creep (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 130
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Intellivision: Groovy! (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 125
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Intellivision: Maze Demo #1 (19xx)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 108
favorite 1
comment 0
Intellivision: Song Player - Closing In Time (2001)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 107
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comment 0
Intellivision: Song Player - Back in the USSR (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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Intellivision: Bouncing Pixels (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 89
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Intellivision: Song Player - Copacabana (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 76
favorite 0
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Intellivision: Maze Demo #2 (19xx)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 46
favorite 0
comment 0
Intellivision: Song Player - Nut Waltz (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 40
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Intellivision: Song Player - Nut March (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
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eye 36
favorite 0
comment 0
Intellivision: Song Player - Nut Reed (1999)(-)(PD)
Console Living Room: Mattel Intellivision
software
eye 36
favorite 0
comment 0
Intellivision: Song Player - Nut Trep (1999)(-)(PD)